How to Experience Silence
A pause that everyone needs
We all hopelessly wish to quiet the chaotic mind without much of success. We are hardly aware of what is going inside our minds. We are not conscious of all the inner activities but we do feel the chaos and restlessness. We know that something is not right, something needs our attention, something that needs a pause.
The inner restlessness affects our activities in the physical world as well. We are not able to concentrate efficiently. It affects our relationships as we are not able to express fully while dealing with the internal chaos. We do not feel alive as we are completely drained out, not because of the physical activities but because of the constant stress.
Normally my mind leans towards stability but it does get out of control when external situation is not in favor (I am working on it). Like rest of the world I was also indirectly affected with COVID when my father got infected. Now being a concerned son, I started doing lots of research and read almost everything available on COVID. This was the biggest mistake as all those negative information ruined the peace of my mind.
It was difficult but I did come out of the stress with one simple technique. I still use this technique and I believe it can help everyone in calming down the mind. There is a way to deal with chaos and that is to take a pause and experience the silence. Person who is not into meditation or yoga cannot quiet the mind for long time, but he or she can take small pauses to create moments of silence. This is a small step towards reclaiming our sanity.
We are going to do a very simple but very effective activity. It does not need any external instrument. Everything is present with us. We can do it anywhere and anytime. No philosophy, no religion to follow. No need to understand any complex concepts about mind or soul. We only need a complete attention for few minutes. I call this activity D2A2. This is a set of four steps which needs to follow one after another and in the same order mentioned ahead.
Disconnect, Deep Breathing, Affirmation, Aware
Disconnect (30 seconds)- Stop doing anything that you are involved in. Move away from the computer screen, put down the mobile, stop doing those household chores and completely disconnect yourself from the entire physical world for few minutes. Console yourself that world is not going to crash if you take a break for few minutes. You may want to let your family members or colleague know to not disturb you during this time and you will come back to them soon.
Once you disconnect, take a comfortable position on chair or bed. It is important to keep your spine straight. The moment you disconnect, many of your thoughts will disappear. You will realize that you just came out of an autopilot life. We are used to think on many subjects while we are engaged in our daily activities. When you disengage, you also stop the thought cycle, at-least for few moments.
Deep Breathing (30 seconds)- We take one more steps towards the silence by taking few deep breaths. Normally three are enough but you can take more if you feel like. Inhale deeply and exhale deeply. You can exhale through nose or through mouth. You can check which one feel more relaxing for you.
After disconnecting, it is time to bring your attention to the present moment. You can focus on your breathing or movement of your abdomen. You will be able to go deep in your practice with deep breathing. Also, you will be able to release the stress accumulated in your mind & body and relaxation will take its place.
Affirmation (30 seconds)- Now we will teach a new language to our mind. We will think about what we want to become only for few moments. When you set timeline only for few minutes, you will not face any conflict in your mind.
Affirmations are positive statement about what you want to become. Some of the examples are “I am Powerful” or “I am Peaceful” or “I am Fearless”. For better results, just keep two or three at a time. This will help in giving new direction to your mind. Instead of thinking about what is wrong or what can go wrong, we can think about what can go right.
Aware (30 seconds)- The last part of the activity is about observing the complete silence. Quietness in the senses, quietness in the mind. This will come with some practice. We need a state of thoughtlessness for few seconds. It is like restarting the mind, but before that we need to switch it off for some time. It is obvious that you will get the thoughts. Do not dwell on it. Let them come and they will disappear soon.
We first got disconnected physically, then we disconnected our mind with breathing, post that we created positive state by mentally repeating affirmations. These steps allow us to quieten the mind for few moments. We can never feel silence with the chaotic mind.
You can repeat this exercise multiple times in a day. It is helpful to do it as soon as you get up and before you go to sleep. You can also set alarms to do it every hour. This will stop the building of stress. It will allow you to take a pause and feel the silence. You will feel like you have clicked a reset button and now you are ready to face the world again.